Always a strong student in math and the sciences, it was no surprise that I gravitated to engineering for my undergraduate studies, and then progressed into information technology and software engineering as a career. Collectively, I would spend 17 years in various technical roles at three different employers. I enjoyed the work and reveled in the designing and building of new things. I had a grasp of how something should be constructed. However, I often felt that I lacked an understanding of what should be built, when, or why – the bigger picture, if you will.
It was evident that I needed to augment my technical know-how with some business, management and strategy proficiency. A native of Syracuse, I only had to look in my back yard for an MBA program that would teach me these skills, while still allowing me to work full time and raise three young children with my wife. Whitman’s online MBA program (then called iMBA) provided that flexibility, but also allowed me to bond with fellow students (with very interesting and diverse work histories and experiences) through the on-campus residencies and team/project-based learning. I began my studies at Whitman in 2009 and concluded them in 2013.
All of the courses were informative. Most of the courses were interesting. But three in particular continue to resonate with me in my current position; Operations and Supply Chain Management, Principles of Management Science, and Leadership in Organizations. Today I work as an application architect for a cloud-based inventory management solutions provider, specializing in retail pharmacy and hospital pharmacy inventory optimization. The applicability of any and all things related to supply chain management is obvious. The course in leadership has been relevant when engaging the owner of my company, my colleagues, our customers and prospective customers, and even our software vendor partners on whom we depend so heavily.
The benefits of my business education are certain, as my degree has helped me to attain and further succeed in my current role. But there is another intangible that is worth mentioning. After growing up in Syracuse, and being indoctrinated into Orange fan hood (our dog’s name is Otto), there is also an enhanced sense of community and belonging that I feel as an alum, whether attending a game at the Dome, attending an alumni event on University Ave., or simply moving about town.
Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.